Can You Hear Us Now? WBVP-WMBA Officials Promote New F.M. Station.

Story and photos by Mark Peterson. Published 6:50 A.M. January 11, 2022.
Featured photo:  St. Barnabas Broadcasting, Inc. President, William V. Day and WBVP-WMBA General Manager, Mark Peterson pictured at the WBVP transmitter site in 2019. 

(Beaver Falls, PA) Every once in a while, the places that deliver the news, actually create the news. That was the case on Monday. After filing some paperwork with the Federal Communications Commission last week and working out some final technical details, WBVP and WMBA turned on the transmitter for a brand new F.M. radio station on Saturday morning.  The new station can be found at 95.7 F.M. and can be heard throughout much of Beaver County and parts of Allegheny and Butler Counties.  Much like new parents and grandparents like to show pictures and brag about their new children or grandkids,  Station officials took to the airwaves on Monday to talk about their proud, new addition.  William V. Day,  President of St. Barnabas Broadcasting, Inc. and Beaver County Radio General Manager Mark Peterson, beamed from ear to ear, just like excited parents of a young lad who had just hit a home run at the little league ball park, as they discussed the debut of their newest station, W239CR – 95.7 F.M. The pair joined talk show host Mike Romigh as part of Teleforum yesterday to formally announce the presence of a fourth radio station to the Beaver County cluster.


During the special interview, Peterson talked about how the 95.7 F.M. will augment the existing coverage area currently being served by WBVP, WMBA and 99.3 F.M.   “The good news is, moving forward, we now have just finally completed the project of putting this second F.M. radio station on the air and it’s actually WMBA’s translator, 95.7 and it’s signal originates from the tower site in Bell Acres . . . in the northern part of Allegheny County . . . I think listeners are going to discover [increased coverage] to the south and east. ”  Peterson was making reference to and contrasting the coverage area of 95.7 F.M.,  with WBVP’s F.M. Translator, W257EA-99.3 F.M., which originated from a much more northern location in Pulaski Township, Beaver County.

St. Barnabas Broadcasting Inc. President, Mr. William V. Day, got a little nostalgic while promoting the new entity during the discussion, referring back to a period many years ago, when he worked for WBVP. “It does bring back memories, but there have been new memories created. . . [This new station] has caught the vision of what we are trying to do and  it’s a thrill for me to be here this morning. [To be] back in Beaver Falls, be with you, the people who are listening to us.”

The debut of 95.7 F.M. is the latest chapter in glorious history for WMBA that started in 1954.  That was when a company based out of Pottsville, PA, Miners Broadcasting Service, Inc., bought 10 acres of land along Big Sewickley Creek just over the Beaver County line near Ambridge.  Over the next couple of years, a studio was built in the second floor above Action Tire on Duss Avenue in Ambridge.  In addition, transmitting equipment was installed and 2 towers were erected on the newly acquired plot of land.  By 1957, construction was complete and 1460 WMBA went on the air offering daytime only service on September 19th of that year.  The next big change happened in 1988 when new towers and transmitting equipment were installed.  This monumental upgrade enabled the station to create a slightly different nighttime broadcast pattern and thus paved the way for the FCC to approve an application for WMBA to broadcast 24 hours a day.  In 2000, WBVP and WMBA became part of the same company and began simulcasting the same great local programming when Iorio Broadcasting Inc. bought WMBA from Donn Communications, Inc.   This latest improvement of adding an F.M. station actually began in 2018, when an application for an F.M. translator station at 95.7 F.M. for 1460 WMBA was awarded a temporary construction permit by the Federal Communications Commission.   The build out and testing was completed for W239CR-95.7 F.M. in December,  2021. Final approval to move forward and power the station up arrived this past Friday. That meant that on Saturday, January 8, 2022, at around 9:30 A.M., history was made again for WMBA when station engineer, Jim Roush, pushed the button on a newly installed F.M. transmitter at the station’s Bell Acres, PA tower site.

The F.M. Antenna bays used to originate the 95.7 F.M. signal that are mounted at a height of 390′ above the ground on WMBA’s broadcast tower in Bell Acres, PA

St. Barnabas Broadcasting, Inc.  recently acquired WMBA, along with WBVP and W257EA-99.3 F.M. from Sound Ideas Media, LLC on December 1, 2021. St. Barnabas Broadcasting Inc. is part of St. Barnabas Health System and also operates 1320 WJAS and W256DE – 99.1 F.M. in Pittsburgh.

All four Beaver County Radio Stations, including the new 95.7 F.M., will continue to simulcast local community based programming that’s been a hallmark of the stations since since WBVP began serving the area in 1948.  A complete list of daily programs can be found here.

Advertising opportunities are available. Call 724-846-4100, or click here for more information.